Our city of perpetual construction

It isn’t often that something like this happens, and I’d wager it is even less likely that anyone will ever see it in person. On this particular day, we were headed into town for yet another one of my followups after the lung surgery – I do believe it was this visit that the doctor told me I could drive myself again, as it happens – and on the way, in the other direction, there was a backup as far as the eye could see. Thanks to modern technology and the inevitable “always there” it brings, we were able to find out that the backup was due to a pilot of a small private plane making an emergency landing just off the interstate in the opposite direction.

Now, to anyone who has ever visited this city, or even had the opportunity to drive through it, it’s well known that some portion of the road system is under construction here, somewhere. In this case, one of those areas was this precise portion of the system, stretching several miles, where the pilot of the plane not only managed to avoid power lines on his way down, but miss the traffic stuffed into two lanes, the barricades on the sides of the road, the construction equipment and personnnel scattered about, and the large fence that would have taken it into the Publix warehousing area. Instead, he took out a few branches of some trees and a temporary fence surrounding some construction materials (but not the materials themselves, it seems) and came to a stop without anyone injured. According to one person who did see it, the pilot managed to come down initially on the road, then bounce back up over at least one car on the way to the far, grassy side. Remarkable, really.

By the time we’d finished with more poking and prodding at the doctor, the backup was gone, but the cleanup continued, with reps from the NTSB coming up from Orlando, and crews deciding the plane had to be sawed into pieces in order to get it out. This is what I managed to capture on the way past the wreck area.

They’d already removed the damaged wing and the tail section, and loaded the plane onto a trailer, ready to be hauled out. Less than a day after this happened, it was hard to tell anything had actually happened, except for the missing piece of fencing that had been up around the construction material. Less than a week later, it was impossible to say, unless you’d seen it, where exactly the plane had come down.

As it turns out, the plane had been recently bought and was being flown in for maintenance – but had not been flown in quite some time, nor had it had maintenance in quite some time. One of the engines failed, and on the pilot’s attempt to return to the local airport, the other engine failed as well, leading to the emergency landing.

It occurred to me this evening, after having a bit of a crash landing myself – sudden dizziness and an immediate need to land myself on my rear on the kitchen floor, leaning up against the cabinets – that I’m probably in need of some maintenance myself. I couldn’t recall what I’d eaten today, which is not terribly surprising, given that as much as I cook, I can’t eat much of what I do cook. I’m guessing that I hadn’t had enough to eat, since I feel better now that I’ve a bit of food and some watered down orange juice (so as not to turn my mouth into a fiery pit due to the acid) in me. I just don’t eat as much as I used to, after being on tube feeding for nine months, and I am not, in general, all that hungry in any case throughout the day. Much like the plane, I suppose it’s time for an overhaul of sorts, with greater attention to the fuel I’m giving myself.In the same manner, I suspect that almost anyone could find some portion of their life that needs a bit of a tuneup.

To kick off, I have some garbanzos soaking in some plain water. Tomorrow, I’ll boil them with the hambone I saved from Thanksgiving dinner, add some spices, toss in some potatoes, onions, and ham from that aforementioned bone to make some spanish bean soup. On the side: freshly made italian bread, with a side experiment of trying to break it into four smaller loaves instead of two large loaves, and freezing two of four: one after the first rise when the loaf is shaped, and one after the loaf is proofed. Then we’ll be able to see which one fares better in the oven after it’s been thawed. The other two, of course, will be baked until golden, brown, and delicious, then slathered with butter and eaten with good soup as we head for several consecutive nights of hard freeze weather.